- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2006

FRANCE

Le Pen faces trial for Nazi comment

PARIS — French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen will face trial for saying the Nazi occupation of France during World War II had not been “particularly inhumane,” a judicial source said yesterday.

The conservative government, anti-racism organizations and Jewish groups condemned Mr. Le Pen’s comments, which were published last year in an interview with the right-wing weekly magazine Rivarol.

French anti-racism laws have made denying the Holocaust a crime, punishable by fines or prison. Mr. Le Pen would be tried for “complicity in contesting crimes against humanity and complicity in justifying war crimes,” the judicial source said, without giving a date for the trial.

NORTH KOREA

China, Russia offer resolution

NEW YORK — China and Russia introduced a U.N. Security Council resolution yesterday that urges North Korea to suspend its nuclear program but avoids the mandatory weapons-related sanctions sought by Japan.

Japan, backed by the United States, Britain and France, welcomed the draft and said it moved closer to their position but fell short.

No vote has been scheduled on either draft after China threatened to veto the Japanese document, especially while a high-level Beijing delegation was negotiating in Pyongyang over North Korea’s seven missile launches on July 5.

IRAN

World powers seek U.N. intervention

PARIS — World powers put Iran on a collision course with the United Nations yesterday, asking the Security Council to intervene after Tehran failed to respond to incentives aimed at defusing a standoff over its nuclear program.

The decision to send the Iran dossier back to the United Nations was taken by the foreign ministers of the five permanent Security Council members — the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China — plus Germany.

It could lead to economic sanctions against Iran but does not open the door to military action.

IRAQ

Al-Maliki’s plan ‘last chance’ for peace

BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told Iraqis yesterday that they had one “last chance” for peace as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld held talks with Iraqi leaders on the escalating sectarian violence in their country.

The U.S. commander in Iraq said Shi’ite “death squads” were fueling a spike in the violence, in which scores of people have been killed in street fighting, reprisal attacks and bombings in Baghdad neighborhoods in the past few days. The U.S. ambassador said communal bloodshed was now a bigger threat than al Qaeda.

Security forces said the bodies of 20 bus drivers kidnapped earlier in the day from a bus station in religiously mixed Miqdadiya, north of Baghdad, were found blindfolded and bound in a nearby village. The security forces freed four others from a house.

Mr. al-Maliki told parliament that a national reconciliation plan he has promoted was Iraq’s “last chance” to stem the violence.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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